Putumayo Presents South Africa (Putumayo World Music, 2010)
South Africa is in the international spotlight as host of the 2010 Football World Cup that will begin in a couple of weeks. Putumayo has used this opportunity to release a compilation titled South Africa, which is dedicated to the roots music of South Africa. The best known acts featured in the album are the late singer Miriam Makeba, the Soweto Gospel Choir and the Soul Brothers.
Makeba was a renowned international world music star with hits such as “Pata Pata.” She mixed kwela and township jive on “Orlando,” a tribute to the Soweto township of the same name. Soweto Gospel Choir, winners of a Grammy Award, tour the United states regularly with their mixture of Gospel and township music. The captivating Soul Brothers are a leading mbaqanga group.
Putumayo Presents South Africa includes additional exciting acts such as the laid back “Swazi soul” of newcomer Bholoja, from the adjoining nation of Swaziland, who sings in Swati (one of South Africa’s official languages).
One of the most attractive discoveries is Mahube, a band that combines creative forces and world grooves from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and other African countries. Two of Mahube’s members, vocalist Phinda and musician Steve Dyer participate with their respective solo solo material. Steve Dyer blends jazz with South African beats.
Reggae is represented by singer Zoro. Meanwhile, Kaya enthrals with their personal type of kwaito. South Africa also includes the late folk musician and antiapartheid activist Johannes Kerkorrel, who sings in both Afrikaans and Zulu on “Halala Afrika.”
A portion of Putumayo’s proceeds from the sale of this CD will be donated to Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA), a non-profit organization working in South Africa to combat HIV/AIDS and advance human rights.
Putumayo is also running a seven week long US/Canada contest (to be entered between May 18th until July 11th) to send 2 people to South Africa (trip includes round-trip airfares, 13-day, 12-night accommodations.) The link for the contest is: putumayo.com/southafricatour.